This year, December 7 is the 145th anniversary of the death of Fr. John Schneider, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate. We, his spiritual daughters, wish to prepare ourselves spiritually for this anniversary by participating in the novena of the 9th Tuesday Mass. celebrated in this church for the beatification of the Founder.
Today, on the first Tuesday of the said novena, the Liturgy of the Word will invite us to Bethany, to the home of the sisters Martha and Mary who had a brother Lazarus.
Before the Eucharist, let us move our thoughts to another house, in Mieszkowice near Prudnik, where sisters Anna and Maria and their older brother John, later a priest from Wrocław and Founder of our Congregation, lived. This house is a small, thatched building at the end of Mieszkowice, but its uniqueness was not in material form, but in the family that lived in it.
It was rented by the newlyweds: Katarina and John Schneider, who 200 years ago, on September 30, 1821, in the church of St. George in Mieszkowice entered into a holy marriage. They brought sincere love and great diligence to the marriage community, thanks to which they could acquire the most necessary items from scratch and buy a rented house before their offspring were born. The father of the family was a butcher by profession, he also worked as a farm worker in the property of the parish in Rudziczka, and in winter he was engaged in weaving. He always tried to organize his work in such a way as to participate in family dinners. Before she got married, her mother, Katarina, worked for wealthy farmers as a housekeeper. After the wedding, she often supported the family budget by hiring the neighbors to do heavy seasonal work.
The firstborn son John Jerzy was born on January 11, 1824, followed by his daughter Anna Rozalia in 1827 and the youngest daughter Maria Janina in 1832.
In the Schneider family home there was a place for common conversations and for prayer in the family circle and for forgiving one another. Thus, in love, in self-denial, in a climate of material poverty, parents shaped the spiritual outlines of their children, daughters chose to marry, and the son discovered a priestly vocation in himself.
The marriage of John and Katarina Schneider survived in their vow of fidelity for 23 years. Katarina fell ill with tuberculosis and ended her earthly life in 1844. Father John Jerzy lived to a ripe old age as a widower. His own son, a priest, buried him.
The spouses Katarina and John, remaining in marital love and fidelity, fulfilled their life vocation. They brought up three children well and gave the Church a priest and a great-granddaughter – a nun, a member of our Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
Let us remember here our parents who passed on, to us spiritual values. Let their prayers and sacrifices bear fruit a hundredfold in our lives and may not be wasted by us.
Sr. Elżbieta Cińcio